Tuticorin is also known by the name ‘Muthu Kuzhithurai’. It is also called as “Sea Gateway of Tamil Nadu”. Tuticorin is part of the Pearl Fishery Coast and is known for its pearl fishing and shipbuilding industries. The ancient town of Korkai (the modern Tuticorin) has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than 2000 years. Ptolemy’s geography refers to Korkai as a centre of pearl fishery while describing commercial relations between western India and Alexandria, the chief eastern emporium of the Roman Empire. The Periplus says that the Pandyan kingdom extended from Comair towards the north, including Korkai, where the pearl fisheries were. Tuticorin was the seat of Portuguese during the 16th century, and the Dutch occupied in the 17th century as evidenced by Pagoda coins. During the 18th century, the British overpowered and occupied the town. Being a port town, the town received attention from the rulers for improving their trade, and so it was brought to Municipal status in 1866. Rao Bahadur Cruz Fernandez and J. L. P. Roche Victoria as the chairmen of the municipal corporation made significant contributions, laying the foundations for a modern Tuticorin.
Sightseeing Points In Tuticorin
V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust (formerly Tuticorin Port Trust) is one of the 13 major ports in India. It was declared to be a major port on 11 July 1974. It is the second-largest port in Tamil Nadu and fourth-largest container terminal in India. After Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust will be India’s premier port and one of the major ports of Asia equal to Port of Singapore. V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust is an artificial port. This is the third international port in Tamil Nadu and its second all-weather port. All V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust’s traffic handling has crossed 10 million tons from 1 April to 13 September 2008, registering a growth rate of 12.08 per cent, surpassing the corresponding previous year handling of 8.96 million tons.
It has services to the USA, China, Europe, Sri Lanka and Mediterranean countries. The Station Commander, Coast Guard Station Tuticorin is located at V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust, Tamil Nadu under the operational and administrative control of the Commander, Coast Guard Region (East), Chennai. The Station Commander is responsible for Coast Guard operations in this area of jurisdiction in Gulf of Mannar. V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust Tuticorin is an ISO 9001:2008, ISO 14001:2004 and ISPS compliant Port.
Thiruchendur Murugan Temple is an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Murugan. The puranic name or historical name for this temple is Jayanthipuram. This temple is the fourth Hindu temple in Tamil Nadu to get ISO certification. It is located in the eastern end of the town Thiruchendur in the district of Tuticorin. The temple complex is on the shores of Bay of Bengal. Temple is open from 5 AM to 9 PM. Tiruchendur Murugan Temple is one of the six major abodes, or sacred temples, of Lord Karthik. ‘Soorasamharam’, a reenactment of the victory over Soorapadman, and Kanda Shasti, a devotional song in praise of Lord Muruga are performed at the temple. Tiruchendur means sacred and beautiful town in Tamil.
The temple is dedicated to Murugan, the warrior deity and second son of Shiva. When Muruga came here for the conquest along with his army, he found it to be very small and ordered the celestial architect Viswakarma to expand it. The town came to be known with several names like Tiruchendil, Jayanthipuram, Thiruchilavay and Srisandhinagaram. It is believed to be the place where Muruga conquered the demon Surapadman. It is believed that the demigods of Muruga wanted to worship him in a place where there were a mountainous tract, sea and river and hence Tiruchendur was chosen.
Our Lady of Snows Shrine Basilica is located at Thoothukudi. It is one of the Catholic pilgrimage centres dedicated to the Our Lady of Snows, a title given to St. Mary. The Shrine name refers to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. The history of Shrine Basilica is closely connected with the history of the conversion of the Paravars (Tuticorin), the indigenous people of the Pearl Fishery Coast. In fact, Our Lady of Snows was fondly called in Portuguese Nossa Senhora das Neves which means Our Lady of Snows. She has been given the unique title of Yelu Kadal Thurai, Yoga Adikala Thai in Tamil which means the Mother of Refuge for the seven major coastal villages, viz Vembar, Vaippar, Thoothukudi (Snows Basilica, Tuticorin), Punnaikayal, Virapandianpatinam,
Alanthalai and Manapad (Thoothukudi District). Once the para var of Pearl Fishery Coast had a sharp dispute with the Muslims of this area regarding the right of Pearl Fishing. The Pattankattimar (The leaders of Parava villages) requested the Portuguese to rescue them from the cruelties of the Muslims and the Portuguese agreed on condition of converting to Christianity and the Portuguese routed the Muslims. As a token of gratitude to their redeemers, the Portuguese, the Paravars from about 22 villages numbering about 30,000 embraced Christianity in the year 1535–37. In October 1542, St. Francis Xavier arrived on the shores of the Pearl Fishery Coast to categorize them and strengthen them further in their faith. Tradition says that during the war, the church of Our Lady of Snows at Raja Theevu was destroyed and therefore, the people removed the statue from there and installed it in a small chapel of St. John the Baptist at Sivanthakulam near Thoothukudi ( Tuticorin ). When the Dutch occupied that area, they carried away the statue to a church at Korkai. And it was brought back to Thoothukudi ( Tuticorin ) in 1699.
The beautiful statue of Our Lady of Snows has always been looked upon as a miraculous one, as many miracles are said to have occurred in the Shrine from the time of its installation at St. Paul’s Church, Tuticorin.
The first miracle is narrated by Rev. Fr. Vigilius Mansi himself built the present Church of Our Lady of Snows. In a letter dated 24 September 1708 addressed to one Father Maria Ignacy in Rome, he narrates how on 4 April 1707 at midnight, a sonorous and fierce thunderbolt fell in his residence where he had kept the miraculous statue for a short time and how he was miraculously saved by Our Lady herself.
Other miracles The Jesuit report of 1709 by Fr. Francis Vaiz mentions the following miracles.
A newly converted Dutch Officer was attacked by a serious disease. No doctor nor medicine could cure him. The condition became worse day by day. On his deathbed, he had recourse to Our Lady and drank the water that washed the feet of the miraculous statue of Our Lady of Snows. With surprise! He began to get well from that moment and he totally embraced the Catholic faith later.
Two people who were paralyzed and lost all hope of a cure vowed in front of the miraculous statue that they would pray the Rosary daily till the end of their lives and drank with faith the water that washed the feet of the statue. Slowly they were relieved of their paralysis and soon got completely healed.
A supposed to be a barren woman with faith drank the oil from the lamp kept near the miraculous statue and was conceived and became a mother of a child.
Once a pious woman had gone to the Shrine to participate in the Novena Service. At that time her hut caught fire by a piece of cloth that fell on the oil lamp. The whole hut should have been burnt to ashes but surprisingly, only that piece of cloth had got burnt!
Even the Hindus who come flocking to Our Lady of Snows acknowledged that they had experienced miracles after praying to Our Lady. Even today we find Hindus and people of other faiths flocking to Our Lady of Snows Church especially during the annual festival days. There are a few sincere devotees who visit the shrine throughout the year.
The holy custom of drinking the water that washes the feet of Our Lady in the statue and using the oil from the lamp is still followed by some devoted people.
Hare Island is an island which lies adjoining the V. O. Chidambaranar Port Trust in Thoothukudi. It is a very good picnic spot for holiday seekers and domestic tourists. Many tourists visit here during the Pongal holidays when special buses are operated for the benefit of the tourists. Hare Island forms a part of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park. With an area of 1.29 square kilometres, Hare Island is the largest island in the Gulf of Mannar.
Roche Park is located at a distance of about 4 km from the city of Thoothukudi. The park is on the way to the port and is by the shore. Roche Park has become a popular picnic spot because of its scenic beauty and calmness of the seashore. The place receives a large number of visitors during festivals and holidays.
Ayyanar Sunai is one of the holy river streams situated in Mela Puthukudi. It is the popular destination of Picnics also for worship as there is a temple situated on the bank of this river. The temple is dedicated to Arunchunai Katha Ayyanar Temple. The river name originated from this temple. The water in this river flows throughout the year. The river is surrounded by many lush green plants especially the cashew nut trees. One should carry food, water and snacks as no hotels are present nearby. This place is always thronged with people as this place has a scenic view and also the popular Ayyanar Temple. The river water gushes into a narrow stream known as “Sunai”, As the Arunchunai Katha Ayyanar Temple is seated on the river banks of this Sunai,
the name of the Lord Ayyanar is added to the river Sunai hence this place is popularly called as Ayyanar Sunai. The river Sunai atmosphere is breathtaking and the temple on the bank of the river adds an extra feather to its beauty and charm. The water flowing in the river, and the river wrapped in with the nature blanket is really feasting to the eyes. Devotees flock to this place to darshan the Lord Arunchunai Katha Ayyanar and later have fun in mother nature’s lap.
Ettayapuram is a panchayat town in Thoothukudi district. It is the birthplace of Tamil poets Mahakavi Bharathiar and Umaru Pulavar. Muthuswami Dikshitar, one of the triad of Carnatic music was patronized in his final years by the ruler of Ettayapuram. Ettayapuram was originally Ilasanadu, which was ruled by the Pandya Kings. After the Pandyas, Ettappan was appointed as palayakarar by the Madurai Nayak dynasty under the supervision of Vijayanagara empire. After 150 years of rule by the descendants of Ettappan, Ilasanadu became Ettayapuram in 1565.
Kalugumalai (“Hill of the Eagle”). Earlier it was known as Araimalai or Thirumalai. Even before that it was referred to as Nechchuram and Tiruneccuram. Some of the epigraphs mention that there was a palace for the Pandya official called Ettimannan. At the foot of the Kalugumalai a large urn-burial cemetery was found. However, hundreds of urns were destroyed during limestone quarrying. The area is known for the Jain cave temple and architecture. There are a number of Jain images with labels in vattezhuthu script. The epigraphs mention the name of the donors, of the figures, of the provisions made for the offerings, etc. The main deity of the hill was called Maraimalai Alwar. The other figures were caused to be made by the followers of Jain faith from a
number of villages nearby. The sculptures were caused to be made in memory of the departed souls. There are approximately one hundred and fifty relief sculptures. Among the donors were the carpenters, potters, smiths, cultivators and other workers. A number of others were high ranking persons bearing the titles of Enadi, Etti and Kavidi. Provisions are also recorded for expounding Jain Siddhanta a Gunasagara Bhattarai a great Jain ascetic lived here. The sculptures and the epigraphs are to be assigned to the reign of Pandya, Parantaka Nedunjadaiya (A.D. 768-800). From different epigraphs, it is found that they belong to different eras and the place became extinct after the 13th century due to loss of Patronage after Pandya kings.
Vettuvan Koil (A Sculptor’s Paradise) is a Hindu temple built between the 8th and 9th century. Kalugumalai is a priceless unfinished Pandyan monolith cave temple, part of the iconographic richness that helped chronicle the burgeoning richness of the Tamil culture, traditions, and sacred centres containing religious art. About 7.5 meters of the mountain is excavated in a rectangular fashion and in the middle, the temple is sculpted from a single piece of rock. The carvings reflect the southern temple style of the Pandya era. Only the top portion of the temple is completed. The temple has an entrance and centre hall for the main deity. In the latter days, Ganesha’s idol is kept and worshipped. At the top of the temple,
beautiful sculptures of Uma Maheswarar, Dakshinamoorthy, Vishnu and Brahma can be found. This temple is of the same style of Kailashnath temple in Ellora, structural shrines at Pattadakal in Bijapur, monolithic temples of Pallavas at Mamallapuram showing the close political relationship between Pallavas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas. There are around 122 sculptures in the rock-cut temple. The intricately carved statues are from fine granite.
Kalugasalamoorthy Temple (Kalugumalai Murugan Temple) in Kalugumalai, a panchayat town in Thoothukudi district in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu, is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan. Constructed in the Dravidian style of architecture, the temple is believed to have been expanded during the 18th century with the images excavated from Kalugumalai. The core temple has a rock-cut architecture exemplary of early Pandyan Art. The other portions of Kalugumalai house the 8th-century Kalugumalai Jain Beds and Vettuvan Koil, an unfinished Shiva temple.
The temple has a gateway leading to a pillared hall and the sanctum. The temple is open from 5:30 am – 12:30 pm and 4:30 – 9 pm. Four daily rituals and many yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the ten-day Vaikasi Visakam, 13-day Kantha Sasti festival, ten-day Thaipusam festival and the 13-day Panguni Uthiram festival are the most prominent. The temple is maintained and administered by the Hindu Religious and Endowment Board of the Government of Tamil Nadu.
As per Hindu legend, the temple is associated with the period of Ramayana. Ravana, the demon king, while abducting Sita, the consort of Rama, killed Jatayu, the eagle. Rama did the final rites for Jatayu, who informed Rama about the abduction before his life ended. Jatayu’s brother Sambathi, who was also called Kazhugu Maha Munivar, was worried about the repercussions of him not doing his karma, the final rites of his brother. Rama advised him to do his penance at Gajamukha Parvatham and take a holy dip in the tank. Ages passed by and the time arrived when Muruga was pursuing to slay Surapadman, another demon. Tharakasuran, the brother of Surapadman, was troubling the sages in the region. Murugan slayed Tharakasuran and was resting at Kazhugumalai. Sabbath was assisting Murugan and he also indicated the hideout of Surapadman, whom Murugan slayed subsequently. Pleased with his devotion, Murugan gave salvation. The place came to be known as Kazhugumalai since the sage Kazhugu Maha Munivar resided there.
Sri Mutharamman Temple (Kulasai Mutharamman Temple) is located in Kulasekharapatnam near Thiruchendur in the Thoothukudi district, Tamil Nadu. It is 300 years old. Navratri festival is the grandest festival in this temple. More than 1.5 Million devotees celebrate together here. Once upon a time due to the curse of saint Agathiyar, saint Vajramuni became a man with a buffalo head. The term “Magisam” means buffalo. Since he had a buffalo head he was called Magisasuran. With his continuous meditation and strenuous effort, Magisasuran gained more power and dominated all over the world. To condemn the domination of the Magisasuran the saints approached the Goddess and informed the hardship done by Magisasuran.
Then with the power of Goddess, there appears a female baby. The baby was named Lalithambigai. The baby grew up within 9 days and on the 10th day, she grew as Annai Parasakthi Lalithambigai with lots of anger came strongly and destroyed Magisasuran and this day (i.e.,) The 10th day is being celebrated as Dussehra. The growth occurred by Annai Parasakthi during the nine days is resumed as Navarathiri. The first three days for Malaimagal, the second three days as Alaimagal, and the last three days as Kalaimagal. After the Goddess Annai Parasakthi demolished Magisasuran she was called as Mahisasura Marthini. At last, the Goddess came to this city and settled and showered her blessing to all the devotees.
Adichanallur is an archaeological site in Thoothukudi district that has been the site of a number of very important archaeological finds. first gained attention in the year 1876 when a team of three eminent people visited it. The team consisted of the then Collector of Tirunelveli district, district engineer and an Ethnologist from Germany called Dr. Jagor. The team started excavating in one side of a mound and discovered many earthen pots that were of superior quality than the ones being sold at the bazaars of the late 19th Century. Also found were baked earthenware utensils, a number of iron weapons and implements (mainly knives, short sword blades and hatchets) and a huge number of bones and skulls. Carbon dating of samples excavated in 2004
from the Adichanallur site has revealed that they belonged to the period between 905 BC and 696 BC. In 2005, around 169 clay urns containing human skeletons were unearthed that date back to at-least 3,800 years. In 2018, research on skeletons remains were dated at Manipur University to 1500 BC (+ or – 700 years). On March 18, 2019, the report of artifact samples sent to Beta Analytic Testing Laboratory, USA for carbon dating was obtained. The results were submitted to the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on April 04, 2019. Carbon dating of samples excavated from the Adichanallur site in Thoothukudi district has revealed that they belonged to the period between 905 BC and 696 BC.
Panchalankurichi Fort or the Kattabomman Memorial Fort is a famous historic attraction. As per legends the fort was built in the 18th century by the famous Panchalankurichi King Veerapandiya Kattabomman. The Fort was completely damaged in the war of 1799, when Veerapandiya Kattabomman was captured by the British East India Company. The Fort was recaptured from the British by his brother. The existing memorial fort was constructed in 1974, by the Government of Tamil Nadu The memorial Hall, has beautiful paintings on the walls depicting the heroic deeds of the saga which gives a good idea about the history of the period.
Sri Devi Jakkamma Temple, the hereditary Goddess of Kattabomman, and A cemetery of British soldiers is also seen near the fort. The remnants of the old fort is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
St.Paul’s Church Of Megnanapuram One Of The Stateliest Churches In The Whole Of India Is A Village Which Came Under The Influence Of Rev. Rhenius At First. In 1830 March 7th (07.03.1830) Rev. Rhenius Changed The Name Of The Village “Neduveli” Into “Megnanapuram” (True Wisdom). Rev.John Thomas Who Landed Here In 1837 Took The Village To His Heart, Designed And Built The Magnificent Church Which Is A ‘must’ For Any Visitor To Tuticorin Or Tirunelveli. The Imposing Steeple 192 Ft High Was Added In 1868,The Coping Stone Being Fixed By Lord Napier. In A Corner Of The Church Has Been Buried Rev.John Thomas. Rev.John Thomas John Thomas Was Born In Wales In 1807. He Was At The C.M. College, Islington, 1833–35 ; Was Ordained Deacon By The Bishop Of
London In 1835, And Priest In 1836 By The Bishop Of Gloucester, And Went At Once To Tinnevelly, Where He Was Stationed At Megnanapuram. He Was A Deeply Religious Man With Several Accomplishments And A Great Power Of Organization. Like So Many Of His Countrymen He Was A Skilled Musician With An Attractive Singing Voice. He Had A Good Working Knowledge Of Architecture And A Remarkable Taste In Designing And Town Planning. In Course Of Time He Laid Out A New Village With Broad Streets, Overcame Some Sanitary Difficulties, Erected Schools And A Church Of Real Magnificence, Whose Tower Was And Is A Landmark For Travelers For Many Miles. He Visited The Villages Around And Did Similar Things On A Smaller Scale For Them. The Story Of These Great Undertakings Is Written In The C.M.S. Reports Of The Period. It Is Also Referred To In Terms Of Admiration By Bishops Spencer Of Madras And Cotton Of Calcutta In Their Published Works. He Was A Very Able, Talented And Remarkable Leader. He Died At Megnanapuram In 1870 After 34 Years’ Service. His Widow And Unmarried Daughter Survived Him And Carried On Mission Work As Managers Of The Elliot-tuxford Girls School For Many Years. His Other Daughter Married A C.M.S. Missionary Ashton Dibb Followed In His Steps As A Missionary Cause Prospered Greatly Under His Able Guidance.
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FAQs About Tuticorin
Thoothukudi is also known by the name ‘Muthu Kuzhithurai’. It is also called as “Sea Gateway of Tamil Nadu”. Thoothukudi is part of the Pearl Fishery Coast, and is known for its pearl fishing and shipbuilding industries.
“Thoortha” means land “reclaimed” from sea while “Kudi” also stands for “settlement” or “colony”. Hence “Thoortha Kudi” or “Thoothukudi” could mean a settlement built on land reclaimed from sea. Finally, the name “Tuticorin” was used by Portuguese people who came here.
Thoothukudi has been a centre for maritime trade and pearl fishery for more than 2000 years. The natural harbour with a rich hinterland, activated the development of the Port, initially with wooden piers and iron screw pile pier and connections to the railways.
Thoothukudi is an “Emerging Energy and Industrial hub of South India”. Thoothukudi is known as “Pearl City” due to the pearl fishing carried out in the town. It is a commercial seaport which serves the inland cities of Southern India and is one of the sea gateways of Tamil Nadu.
Nadar (also referred to as Nadan, Shanar and Shanan) is a Tamil caste of India. Nadars are predominant in the districts of Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi, Tirunelveli and Virudhunagar.
Perfect for adventure enthusiasts and those who love south culture. Since it has beaches, the city is good for honeymooners. Temples make Tuticorin suitable for religious people.
Tuticorin has large varieties of authentic South Indian restaurants. In addition, tea and coffee are available in large varieties all over the city. The place is also very famous for bakery items and Macaroons, in particular.
The top places near to Tuticorin are Tirunelveli which is 47 km from Tuticorin, Munnar which is located 188 km from Tuticorin, Kovalam which is located 133 km from Tuticorin, Alleppey which is located 201 km from Tuticorin, Kanyakumari which is located 99 km from Tuticorin.
An ideal time to be in Tuticorin would be between the months of October and March. Being in the Southern half of India and a beach town, Tuticorin doesn’t really have a winter season. The summers get really hot and stuffy and the monsoons bring frequent showers but other than that, nearly the entire year is hot and sunny. But if you wish to witness the festival of Our lady of Snows, then you will have to go by 5th August.
The top things to do in Tuticorin are Kalakad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalugumalai, Tuticorin Port, Thiruchendur Murugan Temple, Our Lady of Snows Basilica, The Beach. You can see all the places to visit in Tuticorin here.
Tuticorin has its own airport which is close to the heart of the city. All the major cities of India are connected to it. The city also has a railway station which is well connected and developed. Regular buses connect Tuticorin to other towns and cities in the south. You can easily get one and travel by road. Alternatively, taxis are also available.
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